The Cepheid period-luminosity-metallicity relation based on Gaia DR2 data
Aims: We use parallax data from the Gaia second data release (GDR2), combined with parallax data based on HIPPARCOS and HST data, to derive the period-luminosity-metallicity (PLZ) relation for Galactic classical cepheids (CCs) in the V, K, and Wesenheit WVK bands.
Methods: An initial sample of 452 CCs are extracted from the literature with spectroscopically derived iron abundances. Reddening values, classifications, pulsation periods, and mean V- and K-band magnitudes are taken from the literature. Based on nine CCs with a goodness-of-fit (GOF) statistic smaller than 8 and with an accurate non-Gaia parallax (σπ comparable to that in GDR2), a parallax zero-point offset of -0.049 ± 0.018 mas is derived. Selecting a GOF statistic smaller than 8 removes about 40% of the sample most likely related due to binarity. Excluding first overtone and multi-mode cepheids and applying some other criteria reduces the sample to about 200 stars.
Results: The derived PL(Z) relations depend strongly on the parallax zero-point offset. The slope of the PL relation is found to be different from the relations in the LMC at the 3σ level. Fixing the slope to the value found in the LMC leads to a distance modulus (DM) to the LMC of order 18.7 mag, larger than the canonical distance. The canonical DM of around 18.5 mag would require a parallax zero-point offset of order -0.1 mas. Given the strong correlation between zero point, period and metallicity dependence of the PL relation, and the parallax zero-point offset there is no evidence for a metallicity term in the PLZ relation.
Conclusions: The GDR2 release does not allow us to improve on the current distance scale based on CCs. The value of and the uncertainty on the parallax zero-point offset leads to uncertainties of order 0.15 mag on the distance scale. The parallax zero-point offset will need to be known at a level of 3 μas or better to have a 0.01 mag or smaller effect on the zero point of the PL relation and the DM to the LMC. Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/619/A8